Alzheimer's Society had record income before pandemic struck, accounts show

The Alzheimer’s Society posted a record income of almost £114m last year after modest rises in donations and legacies.

The charity brought in £113.8m, an increase of more than £2m year on year, according to its accounts for the year to 31 March 2020.

Donations and legacies increased by slightly more than £2m and trading activities were also boosted by a near-£2m rise.

The 2018/19 accounts had shown a nine per cent rise from the previous year in income from fundraising and trading activities, which has risen steadily from £55.8m in 2014/15.

Spending by the charity in 2019/20 dropped from £117.2m to £113.2m, including a £4m drop in research expenditure to £8.3m.

The charity’s staff costs increased by just under £2m to nearly £61m, which included a more than doubling of redundancy costs to £467,000.

The accounts showed the average number of employees fell by about 50 over the course of the year to just under 2,200. 

In a statement about the redundancy costs, Robert Butler, chief financial officer at the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Before coronavirus, we were making changes to our structure in our large services area to ensure that we could accelerate rollout of our exciting new Dementia Connect service, which aims to provide what people with dementia have told us they most need. 

“Sadly this year, we’ve had to make further redundancies in response to our financial loss, and also to mitigate the risks we expect to face in the future, seeking to increase our efficiency while also cutting costs. 

“While we do everything we can to avoid redundancies, unfortunately we have had to lose some fantastic people as a result of these changes.”

The charity warned in the summer that it could have to make up to 300 redundancies because of an estimated £45m loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic over the next financial year

Butler said in his statement that the charity was facing a “potential loss in income this year of up to £25m”, adding: “We expect these challenges to continue into next year at least.”

He said the charity’s income was “boosted last year for a number of reasons such as growth in our legacy income and the record-breaking fundraising through the Dementia Revolution partnership as official charity of the year for the 2019 London Marathon”.

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